A salad that satisfies your body and mind!
People often think of a salad as an appetizer, diet food or something that won’t fill them up for longer than an hour. This isn’t always the case. With a little planning you can make a nutritious salad that will satisfy your taste buds and keep you feeling full for hours. You don’t even need a recipe!
The key to building a meal-sized salad that won’t break the calorie bank is having about three-quarters of the salad be fresh vegetables and the other quarter protein and a healthy fat. Simply choose your favorite greens as a base and top with veggies, a protein and a healthy fat. Here’s a list of items to help you get started creating hearty, healthy and delicious salads:
Greens: • Spinach • Spring mix • Kale • Lettuce
Vegetables: (It’s best to choose veggies that are in season) • Tomatoes, fresh or sun-dried • Cucumbers • Zucchini or other squash • Mushrooms • Yellow, orange, red, or green bell peppers • Cabbage, sliced • Carrots • Beets, roasted or boiled • Radishes • Sweet corn • Sweet potatoes, roasted or steamed • Peas • Onion • Artichoke hearts • Roasted red peppers.
Protein: • Lean cuts of grilled or baked meat – chicken, turkey or beef • Shrimp, crab meat, scallops or other seafood • Salmon, tuna or other fish • Tofu, plain or cooked • Beans – black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans • Crumbled veggie burger • Hard boiled eggs • Cottage cheese • Low-fat cheese • Healthy Fats: • Avocado • Nuts (I like almonds, walnuts and pine nuts) • Sunflower seeds • Sesame seeds • Olive oil based dressings • Flax seed oil or ground flax seeds • Olive oil (and vinegar) • Olives Other Notes: • Don’t drench your salad in dressing. If the salad ingredients are fresh and in season they’re often very flavorful on their own. •
Throwing leftovers on salads is the best leftover grilled and roasted veggies (straight from the fridge) make great salad toppings. •
Complex carbs are a fun addition as well – wheat berries, whole grain are great options •
Fruits are also a great addition to salads in the summer time – try adding strawberries, blueberries, pears, and figs.
As for preparing the salad, simply toss the ingredients of your choice into a large bowl (or small bowl for a single salad) and enjoy.
You can plan ahead and prep some of the more time-consuming items early. For instance you can chop veggies and cook a pot of beans on Sunday evening so weekday lunches or dinners can be thrown together in a flash.